All the streetlights … glowing … happen to be just like stories … passing … in front of me …
Table of content
Interview graffiti artist
Story board for movie Reflection
Introduction Graffiti has been around for a very long time. In former times they already were painting on walls, in pyramids, or painting themselves. But the modern graffiti is all about the aerosol spray-paint cans. Some people think it is vandalism and some consider it as art. Graffiti is a way to express yourself. Today more and more people are using new technology to express themselves in public domain; a new style of graffiti. The goal of this individual project is to design a new concept to express yourself with new technology. To reach this goal you really need to dive into the graffiti scene, experience what they experience. Find out what the drive is of graffiti artist, what is the kick, what kind of lifestyle they have and what kind of visions they have about graffiti. After finding that out the vision needs to be formed and keeping that in mind the creative part can be started. My vision is: Express yourself and create art together, while allowing the passersby to enjoy and participate in it as well. Making the graffiti more accessible for outsiders and passersby is the vision for the final concept. When you can reach that the graffiti will be accepted by regular people and the negativity around the graffiti scene will disappear.
research There are a lot different styles of graffiti. First you have the aerosol spray-paint cans but the new technology for graffiti is developing. The ‘Graffiti research lab’ in the Netherlands has made a laser tag. It is an example of a way of expressing yourself with new technology. This way of “graffiti” is temporary and non-destructive. Another way of “graffiti” with technology is light graffiti. You only need a camera and different colored lights. If you set your camera on a high shutter speed you get nice pictures with the light. These styles are about the application light. You have a lot of technologies you can use as an application. One technology that founded interesting is sound. You see a lot of music artist who are expressing themselves through music. With the urban style you had the rappers but also the graffiti was part of their lifestyles. I find it very interesting to do something with sound in this project. There are already a lot of sound graffiti applications existing. One of them which I really liked is called Audio Bombing: spray can that can read the magnet tape of an audio recorder. You record everything you like on the tape and then remove the magnet tape from the recorder and put it on the wall. With a spray can with an audio cap you can play and remix the sound. Another application is that you walk around with a recorder and headset and a microphone and record all sounds in the environment which pull your attention: conversations, blowing of the wind etc. Then you leave the recorder and another passerby can hear it and record something else. Yet another application: Spraying a barcode on the wall which represents the code of a radio station on the internet. Passersby can take a picture of it and they will see it is a radio station and they can listen to the music.
One graffiti style founded very funny. It is called knitted graffiti. The artist who started with this is ‘Poly Cotn’ and her nickname is ‘Knitta’. She knits with her friends a lot of pieces and puts them around poles, streetlights, road signs, seats in the city. She wants to give the city color and decoration. All these applications are interactive: everybody in the environment can participate in it and are enjoying it. Integrating this aspect in the final concept will be the goal.
Knitta graffiti Interview graffiti artist Asking what the kick, the drive is of making graffiti is of course the illegal aspect and the tension at night but that is not the most important thing what makes the graffiti artist spraying graffiti. The attention they get and the respect of the youth and the fame are the things why they are doing it; they want to build a status in the city. These things also make the graffiti an addiction. Among each other they like to capture each other’s tag or spray place. That is just the playful aspect around the graffiti scene; there is a kind of competition between the graffiti artists in one city. The new styles of graffiti with new technology they find that more street art then graffiti. They would not easily leave the spray-paint cans for example the laser tag or another application.
Graffiti in de ‘Berenkuil’ in Eindhoven is legal. There are held festivals and events for graffiti artist but also for school children. Then everyone is relaxing, doing their thing and passersby come and take a look. It is another atmosphere around graffiti then normally. In the graffiti scene the illegal aspect and the tension at night makes spraying graffiti thrilling. But in my opinion graffiti can also be less sneaky. When you create a sphere where everyone pass by and can join you make the graffiti art more tolerated and accepted. You can bring the graffiti art among people.
‘Berenkuil’ Eindhoven Experiments By self making graffiti you can experience what your user experiences. It is a way to get to know your user and dive into the life and imagine how their lifestyle is. The Moss graffiti experiment and the Light graffiti experiment were done. It was more for trying out and to feel the tension at night and the playful interaction you have by making it. Light graffiti experiment Light graffiti experiment
Moss graffiti experiment
Idea generation two mind maps were done: One about new technology and one about ways of expression. (Appendix) With these two mind maps it was possible to perform a brainstorm-technique: Combining two random words from each mind map, put them together, and think of as many ideas as possible. Several ideas came out of it and some did have potential. When thinking of ideas the idea that was keep in mind was that graffiti is part of the environment, part of the city. For example that it is integrated into advertisements, street boards, streetlights, shop windows, information boards, sidewalks, cross-over etc. . Here are some ideas that came out of the brainstorm.
With the sound effects of the spray cans when you shake them or spray them you can create sound. If you are with a lot of friends spraying graffiti you can perform a kind of music show. Also the painting has to produce sound.
Push sensors: if you walk on the sidewalk/pavement it will produce a sound. With dancing and stepping you can also perform a kind of music show.
The streetlights: put a motive/template/stencil in front of the light and there will be a picture projected on the street; street light motives on the ground.
Guitar strings on the wall as in a form of a painting. Passersby can play on the strings. It also can be an electric guitar. And if you squeeze the balloon you will hear a kind of horn.
A steering wheel on the wall and the road on the wall and if you crap the steering wheel and drive you will hear a car sound, slippery wheels etc.
A microphone in the wall and it catches all the sounds in the environment and it will become amplified out of the boxes.
With different kinds of prisms you can put all the colors of the rainbow on a wall.
With the sun beam and a magnifier you can burn a painting into a surface. Keep a magnifier between a sunbeam and you can burn forms, lines into a surface, for example grass.
They are only ideas and no worked out concepts. But having these ideas you can build further on them or combine them to work out a concept. After a chat with the coach some feedback was already received. The way using natural sources and things in the environment were things what the coach appealed. Out of that it was clear that the most innovative and appealed ideas were:
Sunbeam with magnifier
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Sunbeam with magnifier concept
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With these two ideas a second brainstorm was performed within a group. It is very useful to that because you get different approaches, other point of views and inputs from others. With a brainstorm on your own a lower creativity level can be reached. But this brainstorm within the group was not about developing new ideas but more helping each other choosing an idea they already had. It was more about getting feedback and ways to work out your concept. So it was not a real brainstorm but it was very useful to share each otherâ€™s ideas. After this brainstorm the two ideas were worked out in concepts to be presented at the interim presentation.
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Choosing concept After the interim presentation feedback was received about the two main concepts. One concept was really striking and fitted into the context of the project and the vision that is formed. That concept was with the streetlights. In the concept a new application of technology is implemented: the light. To make the concept work you need to converge the light with a lens or mirror, who will reflect the light beams, before you get a sharp projection. Another aspect is that with this concept you can clearly spread your messages and express your emotions to a public domain. You can even make a whole story in a street, a kind of story board. Also the tension at night is present and the illegal part. It is imaginable that it is not legal to take away the function of the streetlight and use it for another function. But because of that the graffiti sphere is remained and it is non-destructive. The passersby can enjoy the expression and also participate in it as well if they like. The other concept, about the magnifier that burns into surfaces with the sunbeam, was a nice concept with the natural sources used, but it did not fit that well into the context of the project. It was very hard to implement the technology into the concept and another thing is that it only can be performed in day light. A whole different new sphere around graffiti could be created with this concept, but for example the tension at night will be gone, and you can’t burn in every surface with this, only in grass or trees. So it was very clear which concept to choose: The ‘streetlight’ concept.
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Final concept Technology Before making the prototype an analysis of the technology is made. Before you can make a sharp projection, you need a lens to converge the light. Then you have one big light bundle that can create a sharp projection of your picture on the ground. First an experiment is performed with a magnifier and a cut out cart board and an intense construction lamp. Putting the picture and the lens in the right position a reasonable sharp picture was created. After that the same experiment was done with a real streetlight lampshade. With the streetlight lampshade, a cut out picture in cart board, and a Fresnel lens of 150mm a sharp projection was created.
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Construction lamp experiment
Slide projector Streetlight technology The technology used is the same principal as with a slide projector. The streetlight represents the light in the slide projector. The picture represents the slide where homogeneous light falls on. The picture becomes a new light source. The lens will converge the light and make
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a conversely projection. A difference with the streetlight is that a slide projector uses a second lens immediately in front of the light. This lens is called a collimator lens and makes the light homogeneous. With this concept the function of the streetlight will remain. Streetlights of 8 to 10 meters height have a light surface of 400m2. Only 6 to 16m2 of the light surface is used for the projection and the rest of the light is shining along the lens. The lens that is used is a Fresnel lens. It is a cheap convex lens of a couple of euros. To calculate the distance between the picture and the lens you need the lens formula: 1/v + 1/b = 1/f When buying the lens the value of the f was given: f = 0,3m. The value of b is just the height of the streetlight: b = 8m. When you know that you can calculate the value of v. the result was v = f = 0,31m. 1/v = 1/0,3 - 1/8 1/v = 8/(8x0,3) - 0,3/(8x0,3) 1/v = 8â€“0,3/(8x0,3) 1/v = 7,7/2,4 = +/- 31 cm
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Concept description Tonight is the night that you and your friends go outside and show the world your expression, messages and creativity in the street. The sun goes down, it becomes dark, and you’re staring at the twilight. You’re preparing your pictures and creating a story to tell and the tension starts to rise. You and your friends walking through the street and the streetlights hop on. You quickly lift the installation in the street light with your picture in front of it and there is the projection on the street. The coming up streetlight you do the same, over and over again. At the end of the street you look back and there it is: the story you want to tell, the creation of awareness about the society, or just a funny joke. People walk or drive by: Everyone can see it.
A decision that had to be made was: Do the users make the pictures on a piece of cart board and go outside and put their picture themselves in front of the streetlight, or will they do it digital: making the pictures on the computer at home and send it to the streetlight. When the user has to go outside himself and put the picture in front of the streetlight it is more exciting because of the tension at night and actually being in the street and doing something illegal is more exciting. When you’re just behind your computer and sending it you’re not really involved. It is not impossible to put the picture and the lens in front of the streetlight because it is very light, not expensive, no difficult constructions are needed only the height can be a problem.
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reflection I first did some research and looked at the already existing forms of graffiti. I made subgroups of them, and after that I did some experiments to experience the graffiti art. I was really interesting in the light graffiti and the sound graffiti. I did a lot of research about that and I made my own light graffiti with a camera. After this I started the creative part and begin to brainstorm and come up with several ideas. Talking about the design process, I’ve learned that I first need some direction and awareness of the existing graffiti styles before I can start the creative part. But you must not stick too long in the research phase (I learned that in my previous projects). So that is what I especially did not do. I really fast started the idea generation. By having some ideas and options you feel more certain and you can easily go on to a worked out concept. Then you can begin to start prototyping and trying out. Don’t think that you can stop to think of more brilliant ideas because maybe your concept can be improved. But for me, that is something that spontaneously comes when you’re working out your concept. I’ve learned that receiving feedback and talk with others about your ideas is really helpful. In previous projects you did that with your group automatically but now you had to do it on your own and in the first place you didn’t thought of brainstorming together or giving feedback on each other. I’ve learned that you can create a higher creativity by doing the research and idea generation phase together. Because of the individual project it didn’t come up in my mind in the first place. I’ve learned by making a movie of the concept is a very good way to show your concept. It is a way of prototyping where you can bring the experience and feelings of the concept over to the audience. It is not only about making the prototype work, because that is sometimes not good enough. There are so many ways by showing your concept and I’ve learned that you have to think about that and knowing what exactly you want to show.
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